Jisc welcomes the publication of ‘The Metric Tide’ - a report on the independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment and management, chaired by Professor James Wilsdon.
With our ethos of supporting open and interoperable data infrastructure to make research easier for universities, Jisc strongly supports the report’s recommendations. In particular we commend its emphasis on identifiers being central to a more reliable, less burdensome and transparent research information management system.
Jisc believes these can underpin more open and transparent research metrics and indicators. We fully support the report’s view that there is a balance to be had, and metrics and indicators must be put in context with peer review.
Rachel Bruce, Jisc’s deputy chief innovation officer, said:
“We are already working hard to deliver against many of the report’s recommendations in partnership with universities, research bodies and funders across the sector.”
Initiatives we are leading to deliver include:
- The use of researcher identifiers such as ORCID – through Jisc’s partnership with the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) and collaboration with HEFCE and Research Councils UK (RCUK); universities and funders can now sign up to a UK national ORCID consortium
- Open standards – together with RCUK we are authoring a report which aims to enhance cross interoperability between research councils and higher education institutions’ systems. We also have led a CASRAI (consortia advancing standards in administrative information) initiative in the UK to help define standards to reduce the research administrative burden and to improve business intelligence capacity of research institutions and funders. We will continue to develop open standards best practice in this arena
- Championing the development of alternative and article-level metrics – such as working with publishers and the research community to develop COUNTER Code of Practice for Articles, which bases its metric on journal article downloads rather than citations
- Transparent measurement systems – with the move to open access and open research there are opportunities for more open citation systems. We intend to build on our open citations report and experiment to test new approaches
- Interoperability of systems and REF OA policy – through a partnership between Jisc and The Open University, CORE is an international open access research platform exploiting improving repository metadata to provide analytic and data services
- Organisational identifiers – we are working on a way forward across universities, RCUK, HESA and HEFCE which is based on international standard name identifier (ISNI) principles
- Digital object identifiers (DOIs) for all research outputs – involved in a number of schemes, including promoting the adoption of data-cite DOIs for research data along with the British Library, and supporting activity to seek common identifiers for research software outputs through our research data spring. There is also the usage statistics service IRUS – designed to exploit the presence of persistent identifiers including DOIs (for articles, journals, data sets) and ORCIDs – that’s been adopted by 60% of UK institutional repositories
- Our research information management group – with funders, universities and vendors this group is sharing, collaborating and identifying how to address issues of openness and interoperability, both for infrastructure and systems providers
- International voice and representation – Jisc engages with pertinent global working groups, including the National Information Standards Organisation (NISO) – where content publishers, libraries and software developers turn for information industry standards – alternative assessment group, and the European Knowledge Exchange to ensure the UK is leading in research information infrastructure
“We look forward to working with colleagues and building new partnerships across the research and education sector to deliver the report’s recommendations.
"We will explore opportunities for making additional strategic investment with funders to improve the research information infrastructure, and particularly to improve the interoperability of research management systems, as well as taking up the opportunity to be part of the Forum for Responsible Metrics and increase the UK’s research position globally.”